Answer: On this path, we suffer from love. We regret that we are deprived of similarity with the Creator.
Do you really think that the Creator deprives you of food, water, shelter, and health? No, we are talking about the suffering of those who want to be like Him.
Suddenly, our egoistic desires and pleasure get bigger; the desires and pleasures are in fact the same and we cannot cope with them any longer. In this case, we suffer, and the Creator disappears from our sight. Previously, He exposed Himself to us. But later on, predicaments show up and we cannot handle His revelation any more. So, He conceals Himself from us.
There is no comparison with the suffering of a regular person who instead of earning ten thousand yesterday, earns only a hundred today. We have to understand the language of Kabbalists who talk about spiritual things rather than on the material plane. On the spiritual path, “punishment” means the Creator’s concealment and our inability to bestow.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/19/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”